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Coronet Instructional FilmsAre You Popular? (1947)

something has gone horribly wrong 8-p
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One of the best examples of post-World War II social guidance films, with examples of "good" and "bad" girls, proper and improper dating etiquette, courtesy to parents, and an analysis of what makes some people popular and others not. A scream and a sobering document of postwar conformity. Director: Ted Peshak. Cinematography: Bill Rockar. Writers: Robert Chapin and Patricia Kealy. Editor: George Wilbern. Educational adviser: Dr. Alice Sowers, Director, Family Life Institute of the University of Oklahoma. With Marilyn Fisher (Caroline Ames); Marilyn Fisher's mother (Mrs. Ames); Bill Fein (Larry); Bunny Catcher (Ellie); Lester Podewell (Mr. Ames); Shaya Nash (Ginny) and David Whitehouse (Boy at Lunch Table).

This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives

Producer: Coronet Instructional Films
Sponsor: N/A
Audio/Visual: Sd, B&W
Keywords: Social guidance; Teenagers; Gender roles

Creative Commons license: Public Domain

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Average Rating: 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars

Reviewer: JayKay49 - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - September 25, 2014
Subject: Don' tWaste Your Dime. Call Jenny
My older cousin was "poplar" in fact not too long after the time this movie was made As a result she was sent to that place in Alma for 6 months where she learned how to make wallets and stuff out of popsicle sticks while waiting for delivery time.

And BTW she never got called for a date until about 4 PM on Saturday and it never fazed her. And she always had a date. (One wonders why)

Anyway, moral of the story: use that dime to call Jenny.

Reviewer: DwightFry - 2.00 out of 5 stars2.00 out of 5 stars - July 4, 2011
Subject: thomwithanh: By 1947's standards too.
Only these kinds of "educational" films tried, mostly unsuccessfully, to con the youth into believing that polite behavior and overall clean niceness were the key to popularity. As opposed to how things work in real life.

Reviewer: thomwithanh - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - December 26, 2010
Subject: Ginny dates ALL the boys
By today's standards she'd be quite popular... priceless!

Reviewer: doowopbob - 1.00 out of 5 stars - May 9, 2010
Subject: ....Were You...
....Popular..?...Damm Skippy, If You Put Out..!..

Reviewer: PsychicWhoosh - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - February 21, 2010
Subject: "Are You Popular?" as Directed by David Lynch
When Jerry is rejected by Carolyn, he begins obsessively stalking her. Following her one night as she leaves the malt shop, Jerry discovers Carolyn leads a double life as a bondage model in underground stag films.

The films are produced by a lowlife criminal bunch, including a speech impaired director with a fetish for neck braces and a sadistic dwarf wielding a riding crop.

Equally repelled and aroused by Carolyn's secret life, Jerry takes loose and easy Jennie out one night and pressures her into playing bondage games with him. When she cries and begs him to untie her, Jerry is disgusted with himself.

After Carolyn fails to appear at school one day Jerry tells Wally about his girlfriend's secret and the two resolve to rescue her from the illicit studio where they are sure she is being held against her will.

After a surreal and bloody confrontation in a room full of disfigured mannequins the main villains are dead as is Wally.

Due to reports of gunshots in the area, the police arrive to find Jerry and Carolyn shaken but still alive. Carolyn tells them that the bad guys blackmailed her into doing the movies, but it is clear to Jerry, when he looks in her eyes, that she loved it.

Everyone thinks she is such a good girl, but underneath the wholesome facade, her sexual desires run very dark.

Reviewer: bestpbx - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - April 24, 2009
Subject: Ten years later
they are all married and their husbands are still parkin' with Jennie.

Reviewer: dsmki84 - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - April 22, 2009
Subject: Neat
I love the clear and gentle manner of speaking in old films like this.

Reviewer: Gnillob802 - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - April 8, 2009
Subject: What about later?
This doesn't say weather he's going to get any sex from her.

Reviewer: BondoFox - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - February 19, 2009
Subject: Reviewing the Reviewers
The great thing about guys like Big Boomer is they never know just WTF they're talking about, or how to keep on a topic.

This film was aces, I agree with everthing BB said in the beginning. How he got to "propaganda film" and "morality scare tactics" is beyond me. This was a simple education film aimed at boys -- most of whom are too scared to ask a girl out or know how to do it properly -- on the proper way to ask a girl out.

Good manners, respect to her parents, respect to *her*, and self-assuredness. How BB managed to misinterpret all that is anyone's guess.

The *film* -- wish we could run it now to the same target age group and have it accepted the way it was then.

Reviewer: Big Boomer - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - April 20, 2008
Subject: Are You Popular?
A good film to see mid-1950s mores. Also, dress styles and hair styles of the time. As usual, the producers hired older actors to play the juvenile roles and that is another characteristic of the era. These films reveal a lot about the fears of the parent generation (children of the Depression). The obvious propaganda techniques used here with props, actors, and morality scare tactics are still with us today in many of the Christian evangelical films promoting abstinence. The more times change the less they change...

Reviewer: Robin_1990 - - April 14, 2008
Subject: Today's World is Perfect
My sister has anorexia thanks to today's perfect world, and she cuts herself. My dad has a dead-end job since he's over 40. My other sister is extremely underweight. I dropped out of school at age 13. The only reason I don't commit suicide is because I love my cat, who will die in a few days. I tried listening to the radio, But all I hear is emo.
Yes, Today's world is perfect!

Reviewer: goth_Snob - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - May 31, 2007
Subject: Conform...conform....conform....
So in order to be popular you must -
-be pretty
-not park in cars with boys (because it makes them feel less important when they find out they aren't the only one - notice how the boys aren't ostracized for this?)
-be as interested in girls as in boys (LOL!)

Scary....but great MST3K material

Reviewer: Hello,MyNameIsDavid - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - May 10, 2007
Subject: scarf
She said she forgot her scarf, but then she came down with a pair of gloves, very surreal.

Reviewer: abbey_rodent - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - November 24, 2006
Subject: Good Girls Dont...Have Fun
God these Good Girls get me hot!

Reviewer: schadenfreude88 - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - September 20, 2006
Subject: Just brownies?
After Wally blows his allowance on skating and a weenie roast all he gets is brownies and milk? How times have changed. Wally could have just parked with Jenny and cut right to the action. This is another one of those "Why Did They Make This Film?" films. Who knows? Maybe they should have showed it in Columbine. High nostalgia factor and fun to watch.

Reviewer: BillyPilgrim - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - August 30, 2006
Subject: Bwahahaha
No wonder I was never popular. I spent too much time on the phone!

Reviewer: Marysz - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - March 26, 2006
Subject: Girls and the double standard
ÃÂÃÂLetÃÂÃÂs see what makes people like one person and not another," says the narrator we see a high school cafeteria. ÃÂÃÂThis film is not about what makes ÃÂÃÂpeopleÃÂÃÂ popular, itÃÂÃÂs about what makes girls popular. First, we meet Ginny: ÃÂÃÂGinny thinks she has found the keys to popularity, parking in cars with boys at night.ÃÂÃÂ However, GinnyÃÂÃÂs got it all wrong. ÃÂÃÂNo, girls who park in cars are not really popular, not even with the boys they park with.ÃÂÃÂ We then meet a ÃÂÃÂniceÃÂÃÂ girl, Caroline Ames, who demonstrates the appropriate behavior that leads to a girlÃÂÃÂs popularity. What makes a girl popular? ÃÂÃÂ . . . is it because they like the way she looks and dresses? Is it because she seems as interested in girls as in boys? Because theyÃÂÃÂve heard no scandal about her?ÃÂÃÂ The film shows how fragile a girlÃÂÃÂs reputation is and how much work she and her parents, especially her mother, have to do to maintain it. The film stresses girlsÃÂÃÂ friendships with each other as a way of monitoring the acceptability of each otherÃÂÃÂs behavior. Caroline puts a lot of behind the scenes work into being popular. She keeps a date book so sheÃÂÃÂll ÃÂÃÂnever have the embarrassment of forgetting a date or being ready an hour too late!ÃÂÃÂ ItÃÂÃÂs also a place for her to make a note to ÃÂÃÂdo hair and nails.ÃÂÃÂ Good grooming is essential to a girlÃÂÃÂs popularity (weÃÂÃÂve already seen poor, sloppy looking Ginnie). CarolineÃÂÃÂs mom makes fresh brownies and leaves milk in the icebox so Caroline and her date, Wally can have a snack after ice skating. But what ever happened to Ginnie? She probably wasnÃÂÃÂt lucky enough to have a vigilant mother who keeps the house stocked with milk and brownies or a best friend to give her dating tips and a manicure. After sheÃÂÃÂs shunned in the school lunchroom we never see her again. Life didnÃÂÃÂt hold many possibilities for girls like Ginny in 1947, when this film was made.

Reviewer: Lindiglo - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - March 9, 2006
Subject: Well, after the weenie roast, you kind of owe it to him.
"Caroline and her mother had found one way a girl can repay a boy for entertaining her [...] perhaps they could bring another couple home with them. That would be fun."

Reviewer: boriño - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - January 15, 2006
Subject: funny!
Wow, there really used to be people wearing earmuffs?

Great piece of movie though!

Reviewer: scarletbegonias1991 - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - November 25, 2005
Subject: sigh.
Wow. thank god for the sexual revolution..
I love you beatnicks and hippies!!!
This movie was a hoot and a half! Watch it before things turn back into this crazy stereotype and we really do watch this in school.

Reviewer: mindrec - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - October 7, 2005
Subject: Good Girls?
There is a new PIMP book out where the men are TRICKS if trying to corrupt women with money and the girls are 50 dollar DATES. Films like this where good girls are popular and boys act like geeks may soon come back into fashion!

Reviewer: gratefuldennis - 1.00 out of 5 stars - October 5, 2005
Subject: snobs

The thing I really tripped on was this guy that parked with the unpopular gal still got to hang out with the in crowd that will later wind up with three kids and Prozac. After he blabbed to all his friends about parking with her, which is probably the closest he has ever been to a gal, they snubbed her but kept him. ItÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs the old guy screws girl he is a man but girl screws guy she is a tramp thing. Sadly this is still around today. I hate to see young gals feel bad about their self because of how some ignorant young guys treat them. Some older men also are just idiots. And dudes because a gal parks with you she might change her mind, no means no. The unpopular gal can sit at my lunch table anytime; she is probably more interesting to talk to not having such a Disneyland mentality.

Reviewer: ERD - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - October 4, 2005
Subject: Cute for its time
A cute nostalgic little film. This was some of the middle class standards of the times. That is almost 60 years ago. Some things made sense, others things seem archaic when compared to our times.

Reviewer: Bloodyone - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - August 16, 2005
Subject: I re-edited this video
I am tired of social stereotypes -- even when they come from generations ago. So I re-edited this video. Made it a little more *up-to-date*.

Unfortunately, I lost all of the Adobe Premiere previews, and only have a Real Media version left -- it's on this site:


Scroll down to Parking In Cars With Boys -- I promise you nothing but *chuckles*

Reviewer: Ja30fitz - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - July 24, 2005
Subject: Don't Be Like Jenny!
This was one of the first movies that I saw from this website, and it is still among my favorites. The "weenie roast" and "likes girls and boys equally" parts are truly the best, and Jerry's pessimistic friend is hilarious! The one gripe I have with this film is its sound quality, the volume is not nearly as loud as it is in several other films found on this site, and it can be difficult to hear at times.

Reviewer: nc17 - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - June 5, 2005
Subject: maybe they couldnt bring another couple home with them!
wouldnt that be fun!

i love these old films, no racial diversity. ugly girls are sluts and the aryan girls are always good.

the only good points it had came at the end. honestly, it was quiet sensible what it had to say about dealing with a girls parents and how they deal with you.

dating a girl means youre going to meet her 'rents. for me thats almost always akward, and they usually like me even!

overall, very funny. and as a plus, also useful at parts. (a shocker i know)

Reviewer: Frinkiac7 - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - May 22, 2005
Subject: Missing a few unwritten rules
Wait... the girl who doesnt know anything about "props" is popular?
No wonder he didnt ask her to park in cars.
She was wise to make a note to do her hair & nails, but how would she remember her make-up & clothes? Every little detail is of utmost importance when considering popularity.
Girls who leave boys alone with her parents before even their first date while they "forget" something upstairs are always the first to be asked out again.

Reviewer: Karma Hawk - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - March 22, 2005
Subject: Golly that movie sure was swell
This movie is a dating etiquit film, that features two boys trying to date a girl that they both like, one succeeds in getting the girl to date him and the other doesn't. The most remarkable thing about this movie is that the girl suggest to the other guy that they should date at a later time, which would almost be unheard of today. Thiers a lot of corny lines (they go to a skateboarding party and a "weinie roast) and everybody is really chipper. Another reviewer said that it's like a Leave it to Beaver episode and I would have to agree. Unlike a lot of the films in this genre the narrator doesn't play that big a role in this film, he pops in to explains what needs to be explained and then dissapears. Overall a good film but nothing extraordinary.

Reviewer: Blackwater - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - February 18, 2005
Subject: Watch for Double Entendres
Maybe I'm just a pervert, but from the moment the narrator said

"Is it because she's as interested in girls as in boys?"

I just lost it. Practically every line sent me into a new fit of laughter. This film is comedy gold.

So, in summary, the keys to popularity are:
- Don't be a skank
- Never talk on the phone for more than 5 minutes
- Obey your parents
- And be certain to get in good with the theatre geeks

Hey, worked for me....

Reviewer: waterglass - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - January 23, 2005
Subject: Weenie roast r us.
Caroline is so sexy I can barely contain myself. This is quality stuff.

Reviewer: MediaWhore - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - December 1, 2004
Subject: Skating Party & Weenie Roast
This instruuctional film explores thr proper dating etiquette surronding teen dating in the 1940's. One character Jenny thinks she has the key to popularity by parking in cars with boys at night, meanwhile all the boys at school talk behind her back about how easy she is. This film is an excellent social commentary for it's time and believe it or not some of it's rules still apply today.

Reviewer: Borogove - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - August 8, 2004
Subject: Strangely Enough...
Though this film tries to depict Ginnie as rather unbecoming, the effect we really get is more of her being a bit overly boisterous and like Fran from The Nanny; she does thank Wally and ask him how his work on the play is doing, so she is polite. Overall, after watching her talk and leave to the group and seeing their reactions, you get the feeling that the people at the table are really a clique, and that their later inclusion of Caroline and rejection of Ginnie are really manifestations of their social power.

Reviewer: Fma42081 - 2.00 out of 5 stars2.00 out of 5 stars - July 19, 2004
Subject: Interesting Take On Popularity
Gee Wizz That was a swell Film lol There are a few things i would like to point out in this film

1. I dont know about yall but in my school the situation was reversed insted of the clean wholesome family christian girl it was the sluts that parked in cars with boys that were the popular ones lol

2. everyone in that movie was really really realllllly Happy! it was like watching a leave it to beaver episode.

3.and lastely what does this film say to the world ... it says that in todays high tech world of the 21st century the world has come full circle and the roles reversed and now sadly its the tramps that park in cars that are the popular ones and the poor honest clean girls that are the lonely ones..lol

Reviewer: PCinoPunk - 2.00 out of 5 stars2.00 out of 5 stars - April 15, 2004
Subject: I wanna be a Coronet Film
all do our hair and nails before a date and a weenie roast? There, I feel much better now.

Reviewer: deeswan - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - April 2, 2004
Subject: Are you popular
This is really s great period piece. I guess that after 20 years of ruinous depression, red threats and apocalyptic war, the idea of a life that is safe,comfortable, where your son doesn't have to march off to Anzio and where everything is predictable must have seemed pretty appealing. This treatise on teen dating is a great example of how to keep the kids skating on thick ice. This came from an Oklahoma that has snow and skating rinks, where it is winter but bright and sunny at 5:00 (see the clock when they leave for the date), where all Dad needs to be happy is a good suit and his newspaper and where all Mom needs is a nice skirt and for Dad to be happy with his newspaper. While its true that this conformism is more communistic than communism, remember that in 1947 the Bolsheviks were living with purges, labor camps and 20 million dead from WWII. They could have only fantasized about this kind of domestic tranquility.

Reviewer: Government_human - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - March 27, 2004
Subject: I'm so glad I wasn't born then
I think I have said this before.These films are just propaganda, to make people soical robots at the time. Speaking of a rose colored non existent world. If anything they are not speaking of freedom, but are more Communist, by telling people to think and act the same. That each of us have a role to fill and be happy with what you do.
They sure to pose a double stardard. Also, prove popular groups can be troubling with peer pressure to be cool. They cover all this up with unreal inocents. My grandmother was a popular kid during this time. You know what that lead to? Her getting pregent before the end of her senior year of high school. But they covered it up, because she got married within the same week.

Reviewer: cahowser - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - February 23, 2004
Subject: Thanks
This is priceless and I wish I had the sense of irony in school as I do now. My 6 yr old is worried about popularity.... thanks for this film, it's awesome!

Reviewer: kurt stem - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - October 14, 2003
Subject: Two couples, heeeeyaaa !
Great flick, really liked it. Just what kids would need today
instead of hip-hop, semiautomatics and free-base.
I just wonder what they were going to do with the
other couple they might take home after the date ?
No groupsex I hope ? a double sandwich ?
Yikes !

Reviewer: dynayellow - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - August 15, 2003
Subject: Use 'em and throw 'em away!
Between the comments that Caroline "seems as interested in girls as well as boys," and her parents inviting other kids over after the party, this film is a hoot. Bonus points for enforcing the idea that a girl should be ostracized for parking with boys, but not the boys themselves.

Reviewer: Rick Prelinger - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - July 24, 2003
Subject: Tired of this film
I'm kind of tired of this film, but it's definitely the quintessential social guidance film and deserves wide circulation. I've seen it so many times, though, that I can't program it when I do screenings. It was originally produced in Kodachrome -- anyone have a nice color print they'd like to let us transfer and digitize for the site?

Reviewer: oldguy - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - July 7, 2003
Subject: This is what the world needs today
This is an excellent film teaching some basic manners. While the film is old, the message is timeless: be polite, courteous, and respectful (of yourself as well as others) and the world will be a better place for everyone. Films like these should be shown in schools today.

Reviewer: scottpeshak - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - June 4, 2003
Subject: Even funnier for me...
Like the others that have written reviews I too think that this little film is extreamly funny. Who wouldn't love a good weenie roast!?!? But what really put it over the top for me is that I'm somehow (my father explained it, don't really remember) related to the director of this fine specimen.

Reviewer: Psychaos - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - May 28, 2003
Subject: Originality: Who Needs It?
This movie, as is said in it's description, is a perfect example of post-war comformity. It shows us exactly how to behave, leaving no room for creative thought. I think that's the key to creating a perfect society. If no one thinks for themselves, no one will cause problems, and we can all work together with essentially the same mind to acheive all our goals, which should all be the same.

If it weren't for this movie, I would probably still be of the lesser opinion that creativity, originality and freedom of speech are valuable. But in truth, they are not. This movie helped show me the way, the true truth. It describes what makes one persons good and another bad. It leaves no room for contemplation or decision, and I believe that is completely necessary. If we were to distinguish for ourselves between good and evil where would be? Nowhere, thats where. So I think that proves that we should all be TOLD what to think instead of actually thinking it.

This movie is about a boy who likes some weird girl a long time ago, and it doesn't really matter anymore, cuz this all happened in a fictitious video more than 50 years ago. I'll describe it anyways though. The guy phones the girl with the weird phones from a long time ago, and asks her out on a date in advance, so she has time to prepare. He follows perfect etiquette layed out by the movie, and sets standards that stil should exist today. Also, we should have similar standards for everything. If you want a truly eye-opening experience, watch this revolutionary film.

Since this video was the essential reason I've changed my entire life, I'll give it 3 stars.

Reviewer: Verdant Greene - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - May 26, 2003
Subject: Unintentionally hilarious
"No, girls who park in cars are not really popular. Not even with the boys they park with."

"Now, why do they invite Carolyn to join their group? Is it because she seems as interested in girls as in boys?"

These quotes pretty much say it all. Hilarious, definitely worth watching. If you've ever wondered why there was a counter-culture revolution in the 60's, you only need to watch this film to see why it was necessary.

Reviewer: organon - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - February 23, 2003
Subject: Awwww....
It ended all too soon! I was really curious about the weenie roast.
Despite its artificiality and idiotic simplicity, this was a sweet flick. I mean, it's OK to be nice, polite, considerate, and well-spoken. Isn't it?
It's not meant to portray real life. It's meant to illustrate desirable social characteristics. Such things still exist, and we all enjoy polite, considerate interaction with others. Especially when, like Carolyn, we are interacting with people we don't yet know well.
A film or two on manners and social skills couldn't hurt today's classrooms, either. It doesn't have to be conformist propoganda. We can say that it's OK to be nice.

Reviewer: Spuzz - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - December 27, 2002
Subject: Are you Somewhat Paranoid?
After the starking realism of 'Angry Boy', it's nice to turn to such a ludicrous piece of pap as 'Are You Popular?' Where we find out that 'Boys don't hang out with girls that park in cars'. This film has been used in so many social film compilations that it's extremely familiar, but it's nice to see the whole thing. Teenagers are of course, played to such a ludicrous degree by the actors it's hard to imagine what the teens in the 50's thought. Heaven forbid that they would treat this seriously.

Reviewer: Larry C. Ford - 1.00 out of 5 stars - October 10, 2002
Subject: Precious
Lets go for a weenie-roast! This is
amazing stuff. Play it at parties
for extra fun. With or without sound.

Thanks for putting this online.

Reviewer: Christine Hennig - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - October 3, 2002
Subject: Are You Popular?
This 40's "social guidance" film seems particularly aimed at girls, reinforcing the double standard prevalent at that time. "Nice girl" Carolyn is portrayed as deserving of popularity, while "bad girl" Ginny, who parks in cars with boys at night (gasp!), is portrayed as a well-deserved social pariah. In general, teens are told that everything in their lives will run smoothly if they only follow a few simple rules of manners and morality. Parents are portrayed as eminently well-mannered and reasonable, so there's the implication that if a teen's own parents aren't like that, it's the teen's fault for failing to reach the standard of perfection displayed (and shown to be easy). It must have been depressing to be a teen at that time (as if being a teen is ever easy).
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest:*****. Overall Rating: ****. (Also available on Our Secret Century, Vol. 3: The Behavior Offensive CD-ROM.)



As World War II ended, the wars at home began. It was time for women to yield their wartime jobs to men, for cities to stagnate and suburbs to blossom, for wartime friends of Russia to turn their backs on communism, and for kids to be kids again.
As elsewhere in the world, American youth bore the brunt of the nation's wartime social problems. While parents were shipped overseas or worked long hours in defense plants, kids were often left to shift for themselves. Many dropped out of school and took factory jobs themselves. Juvenile crime and delinquency increased dramatically and was publicized as a major social problem. Teenagers indulged in considerable sexual self-expression and made headlines for doing so, especially the "Victory Girls" who slept with servicemen. Finally, a feeling swept the country of the young that nothing mattered, that there was no future worth living for.
The state of America's families and youth was watched closely during the war by professional observers: sociologists, educators, psychologists, criminologists and the anthropologist Margaret Mead. Books and journals of the period were filled with musings, plans and recommendations. Many people were anxious to avoid the kind of social disintegration that World War I was said to have created Ñ a Twenties-type "lost generation" of hedonistic, sexually expressive, alcoholic nihilists.
This worry was met with a nationwide behavior offensive aiming to restore family values through education and training. Between 1945 and 1960, hundreds of films dealing with family dynamics, social guidance, etiquette and manners, behavior, child and adolescent development were produced for the educational film market. The films on this disc, selected from over 200 such films held in the Prelinger Archives, express both the substance and flavor of this social crusade.
Although in some respects the authorities behind these films really did seek to make the nation a better place for children to live, there were limits to their vision. Required to produce product that wouldn't offend educators or parents in any state, they constructed an all-Caucasian world where women and men underwent a continual learning process as to their appropriate position in society. And even though some parents and children in these films seem to be working-class, the setting, values and aspirations are almost universally suburban middle- or upper-middle class. Even the fearful Fifties wasn't nearly as quiet as these films make it out to be. So although these films appear to be fascinating evidence as to how things were, the evidence is deeply flawed. It's helpful to remember that ephemeral films can't really be called documentaries; they picture a world that never really existed, a vision of how their makers saw the world and how they wanted this world to be.
However dated, reactionary and even ridiculous some of these films may seem today, their guiding impulses were often well-motivated and idealistic. The end of the war climaxed a long period of social stresses in the United States: the massive familial and personal disruptions caused by the war had been preceded by twelve years of economic depression, which themselves were preceded by the turbulent Twenties, a time of economic boom for a relatively small number of people. Perhaps some of the extremes in these films can be understood in the context of one great and not-so-hidden fear: had the American family become an obsolete relic?
Even though films like Are You Popular? are some of the funniest artifacts of postwar times, they reveal a world in which few turn-of-the-century beings like us could survive. There seems to be no room for unconventional or unusual behavior. Ruthless cliques govern lunchrooms, extracurricular activities and social gathering spots. Women (who are portrayed as princesses or sluts) ÒrepayÓ boys with milk and cookies for entertaining them, and are complimented on their observance of social graces. ÒLook at you, all ready and right on time too; thatÕs a good deal, Ó says Wally to Caroline. Even Caroline's friendly parents seem condemned to a life sentence of introductions, evening newspapers and "tricking" one another to go out to dinner.
Despite its engaging, almost "interactive" title (recalling many other educational films like Are You a Good Citizen?, Am I Trustworthy? and Are You Ready for Marriage?) this film is about much more than popularity, and that's what makes it a candidate for the mid-century time capsule. In just ten minutes, this little film touches on sexual mores, appropriate limits of female behavior, cliques and in-groups (the "Heathers" syndrome), telephone and date etiquette for girls and boys, kinship and the distribution of power within the family, the evils of going steady, and the importance of good physical hygiene. It also offers subtle hints on how to suck up to parents and presents many well-crafted vignettes on daily life in middle-class suburbia.
Like many utopias, Are You Popular? is not constructed in depth; it has the subtlety and detail of a textbook illustration Ñ one might call it low-budget (or maybe low-resolution) realism. It takes place neither in schools nor houses, but on a set built in the Coronet studios located on the Glenview, Illinois estate of company head David A. Smart. The backgrounds are simple so as not to detract from the narrative. The actors are neither too attractive nor too ungainly, encouraging all audience members to identify with their personae. Another subtle touch of realism: Caroline and her mother are, in fact, a real mother and daughter. Are You Popular? was an early Coronet dramatic production and despite the characteristic Coronet flatness and simplicity turned into a budget fiasco, largely because it was shot over a longer period of time. No subsequent Coronet production took as long to shoot.
Are You Popular? presented a complete story with beginning, middle and end, all within ten minutes. From its beginnings, Coronet made these little narratives much more frequently than other producers, enlivening such banal subjects as making change for a dollar, writing better business letters and safe use of tools. This particular film was such a success that it was remade with almost exactly the same script in 1957, using new and updated actors and sets.
Of this film, Educational Screen (May 1948) said, ÒA subtle and skillfully-arranged presentation of many details which, taken together, go a long way in determining a personÕs popularity, this film should be invaluable for stimulating discussion, as well as for presenting information. It could well be used with student groups on the junior and senior high school levels and with parent groups as a basis for discussion programs of several types. Both Caroline and Wally present excellent examples of good grooming, good posture, interest in and consideration for others, good manners both in public and in the privacy of their homes, regard for their parents, well-modulated voices, promptness, and foresight in making arrangements. The cast is well chosen, and the photography and sound are good.Ó

Ken Smith sez: One of THE classic boy-dates-girl films. Caroline Ames is popular with the gang because "they've heard no scandal about her." "Ginny," on the other hand, "a crude looking and acting girl," messes around and is shunned by the hypocritical and elitist teens. "Girls who park in cars are not really popular," explains the narrator. Wally Johnson asks Caroline out for a date (Teen Town or weenie roast?) and we quickly understand why teens of their type deserve all the happiness and respect the post-war world can muster. "He is proud to be with Caroline because she looks well." An exceptionally entertaining film. The "weenie roast" also plays a pivotal role in What To Do On A Date.

The Educational Screen teacher evaluation committee praised Caroline and Wally: "Both present excellent examples of good grooming, good posture, interest in and consideration for others, good manners both in public and in the privacy of their homes, regard for their parents, well-modulated voices, promptness, and foresight in making arrangements."
This film cost Coronet $11,000 to make, which brought the wrath of upper management down on Coronet's production team. It was remade (for $1,000) in 1958.